JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Conquering a large portion of the Merriam-Webster dictionary and 13 other North Florida county champions, Westin Martin is the winner of the 2023 First Coast Spelling Bee, punching his ticket to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.
Over 125 words were used over 15 rounds at LaVilla Schools of the Arts in Downtown Jacksonville on Friday evening to crown this year’s champion. Martin, an eighth-grader from Abraham Lincoln Middle School in Alachua County correctly spelled “desertification” in round 15 to take the title.
WJXT/WCWJ (News4JAX and CW17) are proud sponsors and hosts of the First Coast Spelling Bee, the regional competition for students in 14 North Florida counties. WJXT-Channel 4 will air the 2023 First Coast Spelling Bee on Saturday, May 27 at 4 p.m. Be sure to tune in to see how all the drama of this year’s competition unfolded. The program will also be available on demand on the News4JAX+ app. The Morning Show anchor Bruce Hamilton and Dr. Jeff Hess, the Dean of Communication at Florida State College at Jacksonville will provide play-by-play and commentary on the event.
The 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee will take place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. On May 28, more than 200 spellers from across the country and around the world will arrive in the Washington, D.C., area. For these spellers, Bee Week will include much more than three days of nationally-televised competition. The spellers and their families will enjoy special events, educational workshops, excursions into Washington, D.C., and more.
2023 First Coast Spelling Bee Competitors (in competition order):
#1 Mitchell Spencer Edelstein - 8th Grade - Buddy Taylor Middle School - Flagler County
#2 Kaylyn Murphy - 7th Grade - Hamilton County High School - Hamilton County
#3 Westin Martin - 8th Grade - Abraham Lincoln Middle School - Alachua County
#4 Dallas Norman - 8th Grade - Baker County Middle School - Baker County
#5 Dasia Glass - 7th Grade - Madison County Central School - Madison County
#6 Bradley Harrison - 7th Grade - Suwannee Middle School - Suwannee County
#7 Leighmar Wilson - 7th Grade - Manor Oaks Academy - Duval County
#8 Sree Vidya Siliveri - 6th Grade - Alice B. Landrum Middle School - St. Johns County
#9 Rena Reddish - 8th Grade - Keystone Heights Junior High - Clay County
#10 Peyton Harpman - 5th Grade - Callahan Intermediate School - Nassau County
#11 Jillian Huntley - 5th Grade - Melrose Elementary School - Putnam County
#12 Nicholas Salazar - 7th Grade - Bradford Middle School - Bradford County
#13 Tucker Ayers - 5th Grade - Fort White Elementary School - Columbia County
#14 Maddison McKenzie - 5th Grade - Lake Butler Middle School - Union County